The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team kicked off their bid for an unprecedented three-peat at the Women’s World Cup with a 3-0 win against Vietnam. The match, held at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, saw the experienced U.S. squad, ranked No. 1 in the world, overpower the newcomers from Vietnam.
The U.S. dominated possession from the start and controlled the tempo throughout the game. In the 14th minute, Alex Morgan set up a goal for WWC debutant Sophia Smith, who confidently found the back of the net, giving the U.S. the lead.
Later in the first half, the U.S. was awarded a penalty kick after Trinity Rodman was fouled inside the penalty area. However, Vietnam’s goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh made a brilliant save to deny Morgan’s attempt. Nevertheless, Smith came to the rescue just before halftime, scoring her second goal of the match.
Despite the U.S.’s dominance in the first half, Vietnam struggled to challenge their opponents and failed to register a single shot on goal. The Americans, on the other hand, created numerous opportunities but couldn’t extend their lead beyond two goals.
The U.S. team entered the second half with the same level of control, continuing to create scoring chances, but they found it challenging to convert them into goals. In the 62nd minute, the team got a boost when veteran players Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle, both nursing injuries, were subbed into the game.
Lindsey Horan, co-captain of the U.S. squad, increased their lead with an impressive strike in the 77th minute, assisted by the impressive Sophia Smith. With that goal, the scoring was complete, and Vietnam finished the match without a single shot or corner kick.
U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team’s forward Sophia Smith expressed her joy at her team’s performance and highlighted the importance of the win, especially with tougher matches ahead. The U.S. is scheduled to face the Netherlands and Portugal in their remaining group play matches.
The 2023 Women’s World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, is witnessing the first-ever co-hosting in the history of the tournament. The U.S. will play its group stage matches against Vietnam, the Netherlands, and Portugal, all hosted in New Zealand.
To advance to the knockout stage, the U.S. cannot underestimate any of its opponents and needs to fine-tune its lineup. The team boasts 14 Women’s World Cup newcomers in its 23-player squad, with six of them making their WWC debut in the match against Vietnam. While the team features familiar stars like Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, they are also blending in emerging talents such as Trinity Rodman, Sophia Smith, and Sofia Huerta.
The tournament features eight groups of four countries, with each squad playing at least three games in the group stage. The top two teams from each group will proceed to the knockout stage.
The next challenge for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team will be a high-profile rematch against the ninth-ranked Netherlands on Wednesday, July 26 at 9 p.m. ET. The match is sure to be a thrilling encounter as both teams aim to make their mark in this prestigious tournament.
Source : NPR
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